Kickstart your way to a healthier body

Nathalie Raffray with Enlite trainer Edo Dedovic in Paddington Rec Pic credit: Polly Hancock

Nathalie Raffray with Enlite trainer Edo Dedovic in Paddington Rec Pic credit: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

NATHALIE RAFFRAY throws herself into six weeks of self-improvement with Enlite Fitness, finding it rewarding and utterly restorative

I never thought I’d see the day where I would end a high intensity exercise programme and want to start it all over again. It’s the perfect thing after a post holiday binge.

Back in June, I enrolled on a six-week fitness, nutrition and wellbeing kick-start programme.

I knew I had to do something about my clambering weight (metabolism starts to drop from the age of 30, apparently) but I balk at gyms, and I’ve no time for group exercises.

I’m a single mother, have a full time job – excuses are easy to find. Can I commit to six weeks?

“Everyone has the same time, it’s how you prioritise it that’s important,” says Clifton Fearon, co-founder of Enlite Fitness, whose team headquarters are in Paddington Recreation Ground, in your office, in your home – depending on what you desire from them, they can be anywhere.

He and fellow founder Edo Dedovic, are the dynamic duo, a proper dream team. Their mantra is #RealPeopleRealResults. They promise you can lose weight, get stronger and fitter in just six weeks. I laughed when they said it.

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I joined the semi-personal training programme three days a week meeting in Paddington Rec before work. There’s a maximum of four people, three more than the personal training sessions (they’re too discreet to name their celebrity clientele).

They offer boot camps too, where you can pay as you go or commit for greater discounts.

It’s a good laugh. In the allotted 45 minutes slot we warm up, do three or four rounds, incorporating three sets of three challenging one-minute exercises. Never repeated, always do a different routine, and stretch out.

A minute is a long time – it burns, but you don’t feel inadequate because you hear your fellow fitties struggling and that helps! Aged between mid-thirties and mid-sixties, we all had different reasons for being there, whether it was general fitness, strength and toning, doctors’ orders, depression, loneliness, baby bellies, middle-age muffin tops, or sedentary jobs. Real people indeed.

Edo said: “Even though you share training, it’s still personal. We put everyone on the Enlite Journey and constantly check out where they are on that journey. We need people achieving what they want and help them do that.”

The two trainers ask me to keep a visual diary and send pictures of what I eat to their Whatsapp account as part of the nutrition programme. It’s quite embarrassing but it works.

“We ask you to send pictures so we can see what you are eating, which helps us, but also so you can see your own patterns, which ultimately helps you,” says Edo.

After a couple of weeks he gives me Enlite’s “reset diet” plan, which is refined carb, sugar and dairy-free and tells me to pick one healthy meal from it, slowly so as not to fail.

I attempt the entire plan for two weeks, but only last one as my teenager returns from a school trip with a delicious gift of handmade dark chocolate.

I begin incorporating healthier meals into my life, learning to make the delicious kale, chickpea and orange salad and the nut roast I bring into work for a week instead of sandwiches and crisps.

Edo suggests a daily three minute meditation, sending me a YouTube link. Curiously, to pin myself down for it was the one thing I found most difficult. Switching off can be hard.

This kick-start was utterly restorative. It has made me want to carry on exercising and eating better. Edo and Clifton have set me on the right path, giving advice to help me carry on by myself.

How did I do? Incredibly, I lost more than half a stone and two inches from my waist and thighs. My body mass index dropped from 26 to 21, I effectively dropped a dress size and back into my size 10 clothes. Result!

This programme is fun, the sociability of the whole thing a natural endorphin. Clifton and Edo are inspirational, motivating, encouraging and willing to supervise me and my wellbeing way beyond the 45 minute class. It’s no wonder their clients stay with them so long.